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Baal is Sleeping
Bible Passage 1 Kings 18: 20-39
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & books 1 Kings, Joshua.

Baal is Sleeping

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached October 15, 2022

20 Then Ahab sent to all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together to Mount Carmel.

21 And Elijah came to all the people and said, “How long will you vacillate between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

22 And Elijah said to the people, “I, I alone, remain a prophet of the LORD. But Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

23 Now let them give us two bulls, and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on wood. But place no fire under it. And I will dress the other bull and lay it on wood, and place no fire under it.

24 And you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD. And it shall be, the God that answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people answered and said, “The word is good.”

25 And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves, and prepare first, for you are many. And call on the name of your god, but place no fire under it.”

26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice, nor any who answered. Then they leaped upon the altar which was made.

27 Now it came to pass at noon Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud with a great voice, for he is a god. Either he is meditating, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened!”

28 And they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves with knives and lances until the blood gushed out upon them.

29 So it came to pass when midday was past, and when they prophesied until the offering of Elijah’s oblation, there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor anyone who paid attention.

30 And Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down.

31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”

32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he made a trench around the altar big enough to contain two measures of seed.

33 And he arranged the wood, and cut the bull in pieces, and placed it on the wood, and said, “Fill four water jars with water and pour on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.”

34 And he said, “Do it the second time.” And they did it the second time. And he said, “Do it the third time.” And they did it the third time.

35 And the water ran all around the altar. And he filled the trench also with water.

36 Now it came to pass at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.

37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their heart back again.”

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the burnt sacrifice and the wood, and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.


Even after three years of unbroken drought, Ahab still worshipped both Baal and God. Elijah had spent one year by the stream (where he was fed by raves), and two years with the widow (of Zarephath). Now it was the right time to meet Ahab.

God told Elijah that the time had come to make Ahab and Israel decide clearly whether they would follow Him or Baal since Ahab was only concerned about the effect of the drought on Israel’s trade and defence (for he was in danger of losing his valuable transport animals), but not the religious condition of the country.

So Elijah returned to Israel and demanded to meet Ahab. He declared clearly to Ahab that divided loyalty was in God’s sight disloyalty.

So zealous was Jezebel (Ahab’s wife) in establishing her religion in Israel that she now had four hundred and fifty of Baal’s prophets working for her. Elijah challenged Ahab to take the prophets of Baal to Mt Carmel (believed to be a sacred Baal site) for a public contest to reveal which was the true God. Baal was supposed to be the god of nature, but he was shown to be powerless.

This is a very powerful story. The purpose of the event was to show which God was the real God. The people wanted to mix the worship of God with the worship of Baal. Elijah told the people that they could not do this. Like Joshua (Joshua 24:15), he told the people to chose the god whom they would serve.

Yahweh showed Himself to have total power over nature, by defeating Baal in a victory that involved lightning, fire and water (1 Kings 18:30-39).

Today, people still try to worship different gods. They worship the Lord when they want His help, but they are not loyal to God. Usually, they prefer their own false gods. Sometimes those false gods are the idols of false religions. Popular false gods today include money, ambition and power. Other false gods include sex, pleasure and luxury. People begin to love these things until they become the most important things in their lives. They believe that such things provide a successful or worthwhile life. So these people think about such things in the same manner as other people think about idols.

🔷 God Almighty does not sleep nor slumber. He is always alert about us

🔷 There is no God apart from Jehovah who is able to do all things

🔷 God’s victory is not about quantity or numbers. He will never lose a battle when call on Him

💥 Worship and adore the only true God
💥 Ask that even in the midst of ungodly people, you’ll be faithful to the Almighty God

God alone should be enough for us. We should be with Him always and not only when we are troubled. You will be disgraced when you want to stand against Him.

In series Bright Morning Reflections